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Coconut Washboards

This simple yet satisfying coconut cookie recipe has been around for generations. Pressing a fork into the top gives the look of an old-fashioned washboard. —Tommie Sue Shaw, McAlester, Oklahoma
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. + chilling Bake: 10 min./batch
  • Makes
    9 dozen


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup sweetened shredded coconut


  • In a large bowl, cream butter, shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Gradually add water and vanilla; mix well. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to the creamed mixture and mix well. Fold in coconut. Cover and refrigerate for 2-4 hours.
  • Shape into 1-in. balls. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking
  • sheets; flatten with fingers into 2-1/2-in. x 1-in. rectangles. Press lengthwise with a floured fork. Bake at 400° for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool 2 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
Nutrition Facts
2 each: 107 calories, 4g fat (2g saturated fat), 12mg cholesterol, 61mg sodium, 16g carbohydrate (9g sugars, 0 fiber), 1g protein.

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  • Marian
    Jun 15, 2019

    It seems as though ‘brown’ sugar is so anemic looking these days, that I a teaspoon of molasses per each cup of brown.

  • Chargett
    Jul 13, 2018

    This recipe is old as dirt.. Way before people became fussy and spoiled!

  • Altae
    Dec 13, 2017

    Good taste just hard as a rock. First time making cookies that had to be chilled first so they were gooey when I started to flatten with the fork.

  • debpetersen
    Dec 20, 2016

    I love the fact that these aren't overly sweet but still delicious!

  • dcscake_OH
    Dec 3, 2016

    My Grandmother always made these, I love them, and the fact that they are not real sweet. A family favorite.

  • JMartinelli13
    Dec 3, 2016

    I loved how simple the ingredients were, things that almost every baker would have in their pantry. I know I always seem to have a half a bag of coconut waiting to be made into something.I'm not a big fan of handling food, so while I made a few of these in the traditional washboard shape, I scooped the rest with a cookie scoop and then pressed them with a floured glass before making the marks with the fork. Like many old fashioned cookies, these aren't overly sweet. My son thought they needed a "little something", so I dipped them in melted chocolate and then sprinkled them with nonpareils.

  • rschu92733
    Nov 22, 2015

    Very good flavor. Had trouble with the shape. Overall it is a great cookie.

  • jeanemed
    Aug 24, 2015

    This is a very old recipe-- from a time when cookies weren't very sweet. The name should let you know that it's an old cookie. My mom used to make these in the Depression. I think her mom made them too. My dad always liked them, but I always found them too dry unless I dunked them in milk. My mom's recipe is exactly the same. . Mom always had to watch them so they wouldn't burn. I'm going t try making them today, but I think they need more liquid. The pineapple juice or orange juice concentrate might be a good addition.

  • LHaase
    Jun 12, 2014

    I was able to make my cookies look like the picture. Rolled dough like a tootsie.roll. Not too thick and then mashed slightly before scoring with a fork. I liked the texture. These are not a sweet cookie. They are more of a dunk in your milk cookie. I did roll mine in sugar before baking. If I had not then I do not think I would like them. Going to make again but use the suggestions from other comments about different extract and either pineapple juice or coconut water.

  • howeavenue
    Feb 22, 2014

    The batter didn't need to be refrigerated. 1"balls made for tiny cookies hard to shape into a rectangle. So I used twice as much and got a better size. They baked up nicely but had NO coconut flavor. I would suggest coconut flavoring. I actually threw away the whole batch:(